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‘Out of his struggles - the poems of Kosuke Shirasu’ with Bruce Barnes, and reader Akiko Shindo
Friday 13th October, 7pm
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Peace News present: ‘1917: The Nonviolent Russian Revolution’ with Milan Rai 
Wednesday 25th October, 7pm
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Late Evening Shopping with 20% Discount
Tuesday 31st October, 6.30 to 8.30pm
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Peace education poetry event with the poet Anthony Owen  
Thursday 2nd November, 7pm
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Left Book Club Present: ‘Student Revolt:  Voices of the Austerity Generation’ with Matt Myers
Wednesday 8th November, 7pm
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‘The History Thieves: Secrets, Lies and the Shaping of a Modern Nation’ with Ian Cobain in conversation with Wail Qasim 
Wednesday 15th November, 7pm
Read more...

‘Pages of Protest: Can Books Influence Politics?
Thursday 16th November, 7pm
Read more...

‘Building Better Societies:
Promoting social justice in a world falling apart’
with Rowland Atkinson, Lisa Mckenzie and Simon Winlow
Wednesday 22nd November, 7pm
Read more...

‘How the Establishment Lost Control’ with Chris Nineham
Wednesday 29th November, 7pm
Read more...

‘You Should Come with Me Now: Stories of Ghosts’
M. John Harrison in conversation with Lara Pawson
Thursday 30th November, 7pm
Read more...

 

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IN-STORE EVENTS at HOUSMANS

We regularly have a variety of events in the shop, and are always welcome for suggestions from authors, artists and campaigners who want to use the shop for evening events. Past events include talks, book signings, film screenings, art exhibitions and musical performances.

Click here for an archive; which includes a number of selected filmed highlights, of our previous events. Also, you can view video from some special events here.

Click the following button if you would like to directly add our events to your smartphone or desktop calendar using Google Calendar.

‘Out of his struggles - the poems of Kosuke Shirasu’
with Bruce Barnes, and reader Akiko Shindo
Friday 13th October,7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

Kosuke Shirasu (1905-1943) was born in Tokyo, and worked as a journalist and pamphleteer. His involvement in the Japanese Communist Party was reflected in his work in Akita City, producing and circulating a newsletter for local workers as well as documenting the farmers’ riots against local landowners. In 1928 he joined NAPF, the All Japan Federation of Proletarian Arts, contributing to its official magazine, Battle Flag; by 1930 he had collected and published many of these contributions in his pamphlet Strike. 

Proletarian writers such as Kosuke worked under extremely adverse conditions: state censorship, the mass arrests of communists and other political activists that began in 1928, and the impact on morale of the renunciation of communism by the Party’s two most experienced activists, Manabu Sano and Sadachika Nabeyama, in 1933.

His poems are influenced by European styles of free verse and often explore multiple perspectives; however his main concern appears to be a desire to record the day to day experience of workers in struggle.   

The ‘interpretation’ process

Over a four year period, Jun Shirasu, the poet’s grandson, searched libraries and journals for Kosuke’s work and then shared his partial English translation with the co-author Bruce Barnes; a definitive interpretation was then developed through email exchange, and through Bruce Barnes background reading on the Japanese social history of the period, the development of Communism and the proletarian writers movement in Japan.       

About Ichiko Shirasu

Ichiko Shirasu, the poet’s daughter, was the inspiration for the publication: a BBC World Service journalist, translator, and a polymath who kept faith with her father’s socialist principles by demonstrating them through her kindness and generosity. Sadly, her untimely death meant that she was unable to see her idea come to fruition.

The reading is in memory of Ichiko. 

Peace News present:
‘1917: The Nonviolent Russian Revolution’ with Milan Rai

Wednesday 25th October, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

Launch of a new Peace News pamphlet written by Milan Rai, highlighting the crucial role of mass nonviolent action in the Russian Revolution 100 years ago.

The Russian Revolution started in Petrograd in February 1917 with a mass nonviolent uprising of women protesting against the lack of break on International Women's Day (pictured), and continued through to the overthrow of the Provisional Government in October 1917 and the triumph of the Bolsheviks.

The role of mass nonviolent action - in the streets, in the factories, on the railways, and in the barracks - in the making of the revolution has never been properly emphasised. For example, the attempted coup by General Kornilov in August was defeated not by gunfire but by nonviolent action

The evening will include a critique of Neil Faulkner's A People's History of the Russian Revolution, paying attention to the way that Lenin and the Bolsheviks diminished and then crushed the grassroots workers' revolution of soviets and factory committees. 

About the Speaker

Milan Rai is an anarchist and radical activist, editor at Peace News, and the author of ‘Chomsky's Politics’ (Verso, 1995) and ‘War Plan Iraq’ (Verso, 2002) among other books. He is currently working on ‘The Anarchist Reader’ for Verso.

SPECIAL LATE EVENING SHOPPING
WITH 20% DISCOUNT OFF ALL PURCHASES
Witchy Night at Housmans
Tuesday 31st October, 6.30pm to 8.30pm

In celebration of the original proto-feminist, the Witch, we are having a special late night opening at Housmans on the 31st of October. Witchy toons, spooky special items, potions to drink and 20% discount off all purchases. More info here.

Peace education poetry event with the poet Anthony Owen 
Thursday 2nd November, 7pm

Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase
Please RSVP to Owen Everett at peaceeducation@cnduk.org

Anthony will read from his fifth collection of poetry, 'The Nagasaki Elder' (V.Press), which was inspired by his experiences growing up during the Cold War, and travelling to Hiroshima in 2015 to hear testimonies of atomic-bomb survivors. You can read more about Anthony, including his biography, at antonyowenpoetry.wordpress.com
The book has been described as: 
stark and vivid… the Senru poems… leave powerful and indelible images that haunt you long after the poem has been read and absorbed.’ - Hong Kong Review of Books (see https://hkrbooks.com/2017/09/06/the-nagasaki-elder/)  
                ‘both tender and melancholic, and his imagery of flesh transmuted is as beautiful as it is horrific.  This book sings and weeps of loss’ -  Helen Ivory (http://vpresspoetry.blogspot.co.uk/p/the-nagasaki-elder.html
                ‘his best yet’ - Morning Star (www.morningstaronline.co.uk/a-46fa-21st-Century-Poetry-with-Andy-Croft)

There will also be: a Q&A with Anthony; a creative writing activity for all those present - facilitated by Anthony; a brief overview of the work of CND Peace Education; and mingling (with free drinks and nibbles!).
BOOK YOUR SEAT! Entrance costs £3: this is redeemable against any purchase from the shop, and there will be a nice array of free drinks and nibbles. RSVP to Owen Everett at peaceeducation@cnduk.org (though you can of course try just turning up on the night). We are particularly keen to have some children/teenagers there, so please bring your children/grandchildren/nieces/nephews etc if they are keen!     

BOOK EVENT

‘Tinned Goods'
with Fiona Whitelaw
Monday 6th November, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

Sue and Rachel have not spoken since the miners walked out three months earlier. With their friendship suffering from the strain of politics, picket lines and principles, forgotten wrongs resurface and loyalties are pushed to the limit. In this tight-knit town, as the miners’ wives move from background to centre-stage, can the women find a voice in a battle to save their relationships and their way of life?

Tinned Goods features a cast of women playing multiple roles. With its historical context and pacey dialogue, it will entertain and provoke thought in equal measure.

"Whitelaw brings a new perspective that is both politicising and uplifting" - Carmel Thomason, Manchester Theatre Awards

About the Author

Spanning a variety of genres, Fiona’s driving force as a writer is to tell stories that have not been heard with the voices of those not usually listened to. Fiona has scripted devised work for a number of companies, written Theatre In Education plays, Forum Theatre for the elderly community in Care Homes and Sheltered Housing and other Site Specific projects. Her catalogue includes Tinned Goods (which played at the Arcola and toured nationally), Acceptable Damage and Chosen, to name but a few.

Left Book Club Present:

‘Student Revolt:  Voices of the Austerity Generation’
with Matt Myers
Wednesday 8th November, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

Left Book Club launch their most recent title Student Revolt: Voices of the Austerity Generation which focuses on the 2010 student protests. Author Matt Myers will be discussing his experience as a participant and reflecting on the lessons that can be learned from the movement.

Whatever happened to the student revolt? In 2010 young people across Britain took to the streets to defy a wave of government attacks on education, increasing tuition fees, and cuts to grants for college students. Months of occupations, 'kettling' and outbreaks of violence ensued, but to what effect? Today, students face new attacks on higher education from the current Conservative government.

Student Revolt tells the story of the year that introduced a generation to the power of the mass movement, through the voices of the people involved. Activists', students', university-occupiers', young workers' and politicians' testimonies are woven together to create a narrative which starkly captures both the deep divisions as well as the intense energy that sprung from its actors. The 'Millbank Generation' has since moved on - some fell into political inactivity - but many went on to explore different forms of politics, where they continue to fight.

This book will provide poignant reminder of the revolt for today's activists, as well as an opportunity to reflect on its many lessons. With an introduction from journalist Paul Mason, Student Revolt: Voices of the Austerity Generation gathers testimonies from figures including Vince Cable, Aaron Bastani, David Willetts, Nina Power and Malia Bouattia to tell the story of the year that introduced a generation to "the power of the mass movement".

Reviews

'The student revolt represented a turning point in British politics. It was the first visible sign that austerity would meet resistance and, we hope, will eventually be reversed. But less visible, until now, was what lessons the students took from those days of rage. In the words of participants, Myers' important work captures a sense of the trajectory that leads us from Millbank in 2010 to Jeremy Corbyn today' - Chris Williamson, Labour MP for Derby North

About the Author

Matt Myers is a doctoral student at the University of Oxford. A writer and contributor to several publications and journals, he was a participant in the 2010 student movement.

LOCOMOTRIX EVENT
‘Pages of Protest: Can Books Influence Politics?’
with Sam Berkson, SJ Bradley,
Abondance Matanda and Holly Pester
Wednesday 16th November, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

Authors from recent publications by Comma Press, Dead Ink Books and Influx Press join us to read from their work and to discuss the influence of books on politics.    

About the Speakers

Sam Berkson’s new book Settled Wanderers is published by Influx Press. Sam is a poet from London. He is the author of best selling collection Life In Transit (Influx Press 2012). He runs workshops in schools and wrote words for Lorenzo Vitturi’s photobook Dalston Anatomy. Sam has been performing poetry for many years as ‘Angry Sam’. He is part of the Hammer & Tongue collective. 

SJ Bradley is a writer, organiser & award-winning editor from Leeds UK, for the Remembering Oluwale anthology (Valley Press.) Her short fiction has been published widely in the US & UK and her second novel, Guest, is out now and is published by Dead Ink Books.

Abondance Matanda is a contributor to Know Your Place published by Dead Ink books. Abondance is an arts and culture writer and poet. Her home city London informs the subversive, colloquial voice she uses to dissect themes and identities like girlhood, class, blackness and language. Other influences range from Ms Dynamite to Toni Cade Bambara to old school Congolese music videos.

Holly Pester is a poet and story writer working through archives and written histories, with gossip, radical tales and dream logic. Her book, go to reception and ask for Sara in red felt tip is a collection of archive fan-fiction (Book Works 2015) and her album, Common Rest (Test Centre 2016) is a collection of collaborative lullabies and sound poems. She is lecturer in Creative Writing at University of Essex.

About the Books 

Protest: Stories of Resistance is a historically accurate anthology of fiction published by Comma Press. 

In this timely and evocative collection, twenty authors have assembled to re-imagine key moments of British protest, from the Peasants’ Revolt of 1381 to the antiIraq War demo of 2003. 

Written in close consultation with historians, sociologists and eyewitnesses – who also contribute afterwords – these stories follow fictional characters caught up in real-life struggles, offering a street level perspective on the noble art of resistance. 

Dead Ink Books placed an open call for writers to submit essays on the lived experience of being working class in the UK today. Know Your Place isthe result: a collection of essays about the working class, written by the working class, offering unique and fascinating views on working class life.

Settled Wanderers (Influx Press) is a collection of interpreted (Hassaniya to English) poems from the greatest living poets of the Western Sahara, such as Badi, Beyibouh and Al Khadra. 

The book contains a fascinating essay by American academics Stephen Zunes and Jacob Mundy explaining the history of the region, and a foreword from a Saharawi Senior official of the Saharawi Arab Demcoratic Republic Ministry of Foreign Affairs and writer, Mustafa Kattab, outlining the history of Saharawi poetry. 

This is first time a collection of poetry from the Western Sahara has been translated and interpreted into English. Additionally, Settled Wanderers contains some of the original Hassaniya language poems transliterated into Arabic, creating an invaluable record of an oral culture which is undergoing ‘a slow genocide based on political identities.’ 

‘Building Better Societies:
Promoting social justice in a world falling apart’
with Rowland Atkinson, Lisa Mckenzie and Simon Winlow
Wednesday 22nd November, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

What would it take to make society better? For the majority, conditions are getting worse and this will continue unless strong action is taken. This book offers a wide range of expert contributors outlining what might help to make better societies and which mechanisms, interventions and evidence are needed when we think about a better society.

The book looks at what is needed to prevent the proliferation of harm and the gradual collapse of civil society. It argues that social scientists need to cast aside their commitment to the established order and its ideological support systems, look ahead at the likely outcomes of various interventions and move to the forefront of informed political debate.

 Providing practical steps and policy programmes, this is ideal for academics and students across a wide range of social science fields and those interested in social inequality.

About the speakers

Rowland Atkinson is Chair in Inclusive Societies, in the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Sheffield. His research crosses urban studies, sociology, geography and criminology and looks at different forms of exclusion and inequality. Among other interests his work has focused on questions of wealth and poverty in societies and the often invisible harms generated by social inequality in urban settings. Rowland lead the first study of gated communities in the UK as well as the first key study of the rich in London and continues to work to connect the lives of the affluent to social problems, he is the author of (with Sarah Blandy) Domestic Fortress.

Dr Lisa Mckenzie is a research fellow at the London School of Economics & Political Science, working as part of the Great British Class Survey Team. Her previous research focused upon the poor working class and her current research interests relate to the precarious and vulnerable nature of particular groups in our society through insecure housing, work, social benefits, health care, and education. She is author of the bestselling Getting by: Estates, Class and Culture in Austerity Britain (Policy Press, 2015).

Professor Simon Winlow is at the Centre for Realist Criminology, Teesside University. He has research expertise in both sociology and criminology and has published widely on violence, criminal markets and cultures, and social, political and economic change.

‘The History Thieves: Secrets, Lies and the Shaping of a Modern Nation’
with Ian Cobain in conversation with Wail Qasim

Monday 27th November, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

From the birth of the first Official Secrets Act in 1889 to present times, investigative journalist Ian Cobain takes a look at the history of the British Government’s clandestine bureaucracy and its political impact on the nation.

In 1889, the first Official Secrets Act was passed, creating offences of 'disclosure of information' and 'breach of official trust'. It limited and monitored what the public could, and should, be told. Since then a culture of secrecy has flourished.

As successive governments have been selective about what they choose to share with the public, we have been left with a distorted and incomplete understanding not only of the workings of the state but of our nation's culture and its past.

In this important book, Ian Cobain offers a fresh appraisal of some of the key moments in British history since the end of WWII, including: the measures taken to conceal the existence of Bletchley Park and its successor, GCHQ, for three decades; the unreported wars fought during the 1960s and 1970s; the hidden links with terrorist cells during the Troubles; the sometimes opaque workings of the criminal justice system; the state's peacetime surveillance techniques; and the convenient loopholes in the Freedom of Information Act.

Drawing on previously unseen material and rigorous research, The History Thieves reveals how a complex bureaucratic machine has grown up around the British state, allowing governments to evade accountability and their secrets to be buried.

Reviews

‘[A] terrifying account of politics and cover-ups since the 1889 Official Secrets Act. Spin? This is dizzying, disturbing stuff’- Jeanette Winterson, Best Books of 2016

‘A meticulously researched, eye-opening triumph. Essential reading in the age of Snowden and Assange’ - Charles Cumming

‘An engrossing account of how government officials burned the records of imperial rule as the British empire came to an end’ - Ian Jack

‘Cobain gives an authoritative and accessible account of the lengths the British authorities have gone to in order to keep secrets from its citizens since the nineteenth century’ - Samantha Newberry

‘Cobain's easy prose turns potentially dry subject matter into an intriguing set of stories... Cobain punches holes in the idea that Britain is an open, transparent country and he worries about the growing trend towards 'closed procedures' in the justice system. While concerned with protecting civil liberties and holding government to account, this book also questions the core of national identity. If so much of their history is concealed, the British are not who they think they are’- Hazel Healy

‘[The History Thieves] sets out the history of state secrecy and its vital importance in shaping the public image of the nation... Cobain's book demonstrates the function that secrecy played in allowing the British state to maintain a veneer of accountability and transparency. To peek behind this veneer is to see the atrocities committed during wars of decolonization, the secret deployment of British troops in various theaters of war, the colonial files hidden in secret archives, the cover-up of state-sponsored death squads in Northern Ireland, and the obstruction of justice through secret courts’ - Rosa Gilbert

About the Author

Ian Cobain was born in Liverpool in 1960. He has been a journalist since the early 1980s and is currently an investigative reporter with the Guardian. His inquiries into the UK's involvement in torture since 9/11 have won a number of major awards, including the Martha Gellhorn Prize and the Paul Foot Award for investigative journalism. He has also won several Amnesty International media awards. Cobain lives in London with his wife and two children.

‘How the Establishment Lost Control’ with Chris Nineham
Wednesday 29th November, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

The post-war consensus is breaking up. The general election result, the 2014 Scottish referendum and the Brexit vote all testify to an insurgent mood amongst swathes of the population. This book attempts to explain these dramatic developments and to show how they question received notions about politics, history and how change happens.

Reviews
A highly readable, fast moving account of how the British establishment have lost the plot. Chris Nineham reveals, often using their own words, that they know they have, but they would rather you didn’t read it here... ~ Danny Dorling, author of Inequality and the 1%

An important and perceptive history of post-war Britain and the effects of neoliberalism. A critique with a robust philosophical basis, it explains where the inequalities that led us to this point originated, how they are being perpetuated, and how they can be deconstructed. Essential reading for anybody wishing to understand the state we’re in. ~ Brian Eno

The sub-text of this book is 'Against Pessimism'. Chris Nineham gives us a guide to the fractures and fault-lines in the establishment, reminding us how often our rulers don't get their own way, and how the Left can make the most of these weaknesses. ~ Mike Rosen

About the Author

Chris Nineham is a vice chair of the Stop the War Coalition. He was one of the organisers of the two million February 15th, 2003 demonstration in London and central to the international co-ordination that led to the protests going global. He was also an international organiser of the Genoa G8 protests in 2001 and played a central role in the co-ordination of the European Social Forum in Florence (2002), Paris (2003) and London (2004) as well as being a co-ordinator of the WSF assembly of social movements.

LOCOMOTRIX EVENT
‘You Should Come with Me Now: Stories of Ghosts’
M. John Harrison in conversation with Lara Pawson
Thursday 30th November, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

Pre-book tickets here


The Locomotrix is excited to present New Wave pioneer M. John Harrison in conversation with author and journalist Lara Pawson on the publication of his first collection of short fiction in over 15 years, You Should Come with Me Now: Stories of Ghosts.

Acclaimed by writers such as Neil Gaiman, Angela Carter, Clive Barker, William Gibson and Iain Banks (who called him ‘a Zen master of prose’), M. John Harrison is the winner of numerous awards, including the Arthur C. Clarke, Philip K Dick, and James Tiptree Junior Awards, as well as the Boardman Tasker Prize and Tahtivaeltara Award. 

Considered one of the most important stylists of modern fantasy and science fiction working today, and a pioneer of the New Wave, M. John Harrison is a cartographer of the liminal. His work sits at the boundaries between genres – horror and science fiction, fantasy and travel writing – just as his characters occupy the no man’s land between the spatial and the spiritual.

Here, in his first collection of short fiction for over 15 years, we see the master of the New Wave present unsettling visions of contemporary urban Britain, as well as supernatural parodies of the wider, political landscape. From gelatinous aliens taking over the world’s financial capitals, to the middle-aged man escaping the pressures of fatherhood by going missing in his own house… these are weird stories for weird times.

Reviews

‘M. John Harrison moves elegantly, passionately, from genre to genre, his prose lucent and wise, his stories published as SF or as fantasy, as horror or as mainstream fiction. In each playing field, he wins awards, and makes it look so easy. His prose is deceptively simple, each word considered and placed where it can sink deepest and do the most damage.’ - Neil Gaiman, author of American Gods

‘With an austere and deeply moving humanism, M. John Harrison proves what only those crippled by respectability still doubt – that science fiction can be literature, of the very greatest kind.’ - China Miéville, author of Perdido Street Station

‘M. John Harrison's sentences have the power to leave the world about you unsteadied; glowing and perforated in strange ways.’ - Robert Macfarlane, author of Landmarks

‘Slippery, subversive, these stories mix the eerie and familiar into beguiling, alarming marvels.’  - Olivia Laing, author of The Lonely City

'Harrison maps a rediscovered fictional hinterland, one tucked behind the glossier edifices of modernity and genre with views down alleyways into pubs and flats where Patrick Hamilton glares balefully at J. G. Ballard.' - Will Eaves, author of This is Paradise

About the Speakers

M. John Harrison is regarded by many as a figurehead of modern fantasy and science fiction. He is the author of eleven novels (including In Viriconium, The Course of the Heart and Light), as well as four previous short story collections, two graphic novels, and collaborations with Jane Johnson, writing as Gabriel King. He won the Boardman Tasker Award for Climbers (1989), the James Tiptree Jr Award for Light (2002) and the Arthur C Clark Award for Nova Swing (2007). He reviews fiction for the Guardian and the Times Literary Supplement, and lives in Shropshire.

Lara Pawson is a freelance writer born in London, a city she left at sixteen for a hamlet in Somerset. She is the author of This Is The Place To Be, a fragmentary memoir which was published in September 2016 with CB editions. In the Name of the People: Angola’s Forgotten Massacre (IB Tauris, 2014) was her first book. It was nominated for several awards and longlisted for The Orwell Prize 2015. Her commentary, essays and reviews have been published in many places, most recently in the Times Literary Supplement, VersoNew Humanist and Art Review.

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